Consider the Summer…

May 3, 2022

Consider the summer…from Memorial Day (the unofficial start of summer) until Labor Day, we fill our thoughts with dreams of sunny weeks and weekends unblemished by obligations. We fantasize about how we will spend unscheduled hours, days. If we are lucky, we will get to fill those in blanks how we wish.

We have spent months, heck, years chafing under the demands of whatever pandemic life held: from home schooling to working remotely to missing the intimacy of friends and families gathering together. And the masks; always the masks: to wear or not to wear; that has been the question. Tempers flared over…everything and everyone has been on edge. Even with most of the restrictions now lifted (if not all) there are those who still suffer from Covid (and long Covid) and those who still struggle with the fear it created in their lives. It’s officially over, but for so many, not quite yet.

And then there’s the war in Ukraine and the continuing battle and loss of life there; unrest worldwide and here at home. It’s enough to make you throw in the towel.

Or we could celebrate…life and love and blessings.

At this stage of summer, before the heat begins to wilt our enthusiasm, we are raw ambition. Three months of great warm weather mean outdoor festivities, the beach, cooking al fresco, family parties, music and food festivals, sneaking in a cat nap or curling up in the shade with a good book.

My June will find me in my happy place, Bella Italia, hosting spectacular groups of lovely tourists and showing them this country I love so much.

I am excited to cook with the fresh ingredients all around me in this beautiful country. I am excited to inhale the perfumes of the local olive oil, as I drizzle it over the some of the luscious tomatoes I will savor all summer. I am excited to pick our own fruit from the trees along with vegetables, delicate herbs and lettuces for our guests’ feasts.

I’m thrilled to be cooking a bit more elaborately to please my guests. I cook simply at home so this will give me the chance to flex my culinary muscles a bit more than I do day to day.

I can’t wait to hug and kiss all those friends waiting to welcome us to Italy with open arms once again. They are as close to family to us as friends can be and the thought of spending time together again warms me more than any summer sun can.

I hope your summer, whether it includes travel or if it means cooking out in your own little backyard paradise with friends and family, fills you with love and gratitude for the lives we are blessed to lead. I hope you find respite from the day to day world that so often weighs heavy on our shoulders and hearts. I hope that you find the time to take care of yourselves and others, because we are all we have and love is all there is.